For the last couple of years I have visited the Sewing for Pleasure and Hobbycrafts show at the NEC in Birmingham, so this year was no different! I had a rough idea of the things that I wanted to buy, mainly just more fabric as I seem to be getting through my stash pretty quickly so I needed to stock up. I also mentioned in my last blog post that I have a special project that I want to do and so needed some final little bits for that.
I went with my Mum, Mother in law and a couple of friends, in previous years we have just gone round and done some shopping but this year we also really wanted to try and fit in a workshop. They get booked up really quickly and so we got to the NEC before the show opened to make sure that we could be in early to sign up. As soon as the show opened we headed straight for the Korbond Sewing Studio stand where Jennifer Taylor was doing her workshops. We signed up for the workshop at 2pm to make a pin cushion with a difference. This then gave up plenty of time to go round and do our shopping before coming back to the workshop.
We worked our way through the sewing for pleasure part of the show first as we were all mostly interested in the sewing and fabric stalls rather than the papercraft and other craft stalls in the hobbycraft part of the show. I didn’t buy much to begin with only a metal zip and some ribbon to make labels to put in my makes. My first big purchases came when we got to the Girl Charlee UK stand. I love their fabric and so really wanted to stock up on more. I stupidly hadn’t come with many ideas of what I wanted to make and so this made it more difficult as I couldn’t decide on which fabrics to pick. I did have one idea and that was to make my husband some shorts and so I picked out some grey jersey with large letters printed on for them. Another fabric that caught my eye was a very lightweight pastel print jersey which I though would look great as a loose fitting top in the summer. Finally, they had a really bold pink and purple print fabric that really stood out to me, I bought 2m of it as I thought I could use it to make another version of a maxi dress. Ben and Jen at Girl Charlee were lovely and very helpful. Because I had spent over a certain amount I was able to take my purchases home in a printed Girl Charlee bag and they also offered me a badge. I saw the perfect one and just had to have it!
We carried on walking round and I managed to get some more fabric, this time a lightweight cotton, with a beautiful big print which I am going to use to make another Kimono. I also found some beautiful brass bag furniture which I needed (can you guess what my special project is going to be yet?).
By this point we had pretty much finished the sewing for pleasure section of the show. We were disappointed to find that the big Simplicity sewing pattern stand wasn’t there this year as even though I probably wasn’t going to buy any patterns it is useful to get ideas and I have got some very good patterns from there in the past.
After lunch we had a look round the Hobbycrafts section of the show, it was good to look but we didn’t buy much from there and so we then made our way back to the workshop. On the way back we stopped at a stand on a corner which was selling kits to make bags but they also had webbing for straps. Initially I had been looking for leather or faux leather for this as i thought it would give a better effect but we could find any at all. They had webbing in all different colours and even though the navy blue didn’t quite match my fabric, it was a bit lighter, it looked a lot better than I thought it would. As we were have no luck with leather I decided to buy it so that I had something to make it with.
We found our seats at the workshop which was to make a small pin cushion with pockets on the corners. We were given two larger squares of fabric and four smaller ones as well as a button for the centre. It was very simple to construct the hardest bit for me was hand sewing it shut, but I now have a lovely finished pin cushion. I have met Jennifer a few times before and she knows my Mother in law quite well from other workshops and events that they have been to. It was nice to see her again and make something new.
Our route round the show had meant that we had pretty much done everything that we wanted to by now. One of our group wanted to go and have another look at the embroidery machines and possibly buy one before we left and so while she was doing that I quickly went back to the Girl Charlee stand to make sure there was nothing else that I wanted before we left. Unsurprisingly, I found a really soft blue and white patterned jersey that I thought would make some really nice pyjama trousers and then also got some plain white fabric to make a matching top with.
I am so happy with all my purchases and can’t wait to start making things with them, I just need to decide which one is first! It was a fantastic day out with great company, so we will hopefully do the same again next year 😃👗🛍